Punters lose £2.54m on 'crack cocaine of gambling' machines on Kilburn High Road in just ONE year
PUBLISHED: 17:11 15 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:11 15 February 2016
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Punters lost £2.54million last year using the 'crack cocaine of gambling' machines in Kilburn High Road, according to figures released today.
The data from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG) also claimed £12.7m was gambled in 2015 on the fixed odds betting terminals placed in betting shops and arcades in the busy thoroughfare dubbed the “bookmakers’ mile”.
Gamblers can lose up to £100 in just 20 seconds on the high-stake machines hence them being compared to the highly addictive class A drug.
According to CFG there are 40 of the machines located in Kilburn High Road.
Adrian Parkinson, campaign consultant at CFG, is calling for the government to take action, he added: “Like many high streets across the country, Kilburn High Road is being over run by betting shops and their £100 a spin roulette machines.
“The proliferation of betting shops and their roulette machines in our town centres is leading to millions of pounds being extracted from the most vulnerable in those communities.
“Councils are powerless to prevent the proliferation of these highly addictive gaming machines and that is why 93 Councils, including Camden, are calling on the government to take action.”
The news comes as bookmakers chain Paddy Power takes its fight to open a second branch on Kilburn High Road to the government after Camden Council refused it planning permission.
The town hall rejected the bid after ruling it would have a “harmful impact” on the community as it would be the NINTH gambling business on the street.
A law limiting bookmakers to just four terminals (FOTB’s) per branch is believed to be behind multiple branches in the same area.
Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, said: “Challenging the number of betting shops in Kilburn is not a campaign against responsible gamblers; it is about preventing a monopoly on our high streets.
“We must recognise the misery faced by those who suffer heavy losses through gambling, and acknowledge the scale of the problem. The first step would be to support the initial decision against yet another shop on Kilburn High Street.”
A spokeswoman for Paddy Power told the Times a second branch will bring retail presence to the street and “much needed vitality and footfall to localities” around the country.